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PL v Lions

Kiwi Eagle

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Lions 10 (Byrne try, Buckingham 3 goals) d Sea Eagles 8 (Afamasaga try, Halden 2 goals)

Game played in cold and wet conditions, edge of the NSW storm clipping Auckland today

First 20 mins was spent with both sides keeping it close in the conditions and getting to a kick, we probably had the better of the opportunities but couldnt finish anything off. Best chance we had was around the 25min mark when Afamasaga ran a great line from about 40m out and was brought down 5m out. Only had 2 tackles left form there and couldnt make anything of it. Interesting tactics were for the 1st 20 of the half Robson played hooker with Groom going to 2nd receiver, he looked quite good on his feet running the ball and some nice inside balls too. We had a great chance with a full set from about 1om out which was ruined by forwards going from dummy half then a shocking pass from dummy half from Groom to Robson who knocked on.
Game started to chance in the final 10m, at 1 stage we made 10m in our set and had Halden clearing to about halfway. They were right on attack, they looked in but Groom put a big hit on Sonny Fai right in front of the line to drive him back. However they grubbered into the in goal on the last, never looked like going dead but Meaney showed no urgency to get back and Byrne came through to score. they converted and went into ht 6-0 up.

2nd half started well for us, another clean break from Afamasaga, but then it fell apart for 10mins. Anderson tore us apart up the middle. They got a couple of repeat sets and then they put up a bomb, Bani came down with it in the clear but was caught about 40m out, panicked and threw a pass infield and they had the ball again. Trembath stripped 20m out and they went up 8-0 in the 49th min. Finefuiaki then made a huge run and earnt a penalty at the play the ball, Halden got us good metres, then from about 3m out Afamasaga ran a great angle back in towards the sticks and Robson threw a nice soft ball and he cut through them to score the try, Halden converted and we were back to 8-6 with 25 to go. We put together some nice plays, Groom made a nice break but we conceeded a penalty next play for an obstruction from Wells. We got a penalty 18m out in front which halden kicked to make it 8-8 with 10 to go.
Byrne took a bomb 5m out, was over the line but Neumann and Halden combined nicely to push him back. We then imploded again. 10m out, infront of the sticks, NBQ lost the ball, Robson was standing in front of him, caught it, and knew straight away the mistake he had made, and that put us 10-8 down. Went for short kickoff, Meaney got up to knock it back, and the ball rolled through Robsons legs and they dived on it and game over, we didnt get another chance.

Finefuiaki was awesome, made huge metres all game, has great leg drive, and played himself to a standstill, after 1 big run he was struggling to get up he was that buggered and came off. Deserves a crack at NRL

Afamasaga was very strong running the ball as well, 3 line breaks and some good offloads, few mistakes let his game down though

Trembath looks very promising, made good hard metres all game and definitely looks up to NRL level in the future, Shaw was much the same off the bench, very very good

Haldens kicking game was very good in the conditions and he took the line on well too. Should probably get the bench spot this week

Groom, looked good on his feet, alternated with Robson all day. Most impressive part of his game for me was his defence, when we really needed it in the 2nd half he was the guy who come running up with a good hit and a few occassions

Outside backs didnt really get a chance in those conditions, Neumann was caught out in defence 3 times that i noticed and he will need to work on that

Was mention pre game from our PL coach that Des rates Bani quite highly and with another pre season under his belt will probably be in contention for NRL wing spot
 

Fluffy

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great report KE

we have lost twice to the lions, who are not going very well, the game i saw at brookie they had it all over us in the forwards. Glad to hear Grooms defence is coming on. I for one hope that next year he might get a run at 5/8 when the opportunity presents, his footwork would cause some problems i feel.
 

Canteen Worker

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I spoke to the PL doctor last night who was puzzled by our form. We beat the top teams but then can't beat the bottom teams.
 

Kiwi Eagle

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Graham Lowe was commentating the game and he said the trainers were telling him the exact same thing, you never know which side will turn up, the one that will beat the best or the one that will be flogged by the worst
 

geoffeagle

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Players player award: Jason Wells

Coaches 3, 2, 1, 3 Jason Wells
2 Jack Afamasaga
1 Chris Trembath
 

Garts

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Didnt we sign a forward from the lions team for 08? Anyone remember his name?
 

fLIP

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We were looking at him. Cant remember the name though. Not sure if he actually signed.
 

Jatz Crackers

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Top shelf KE. Thankyou.

Its always difficult to make the leap from JF/PL to NRL but i have a fair degree of confidence in some of those players mentioned to fill any void in the top level. Diminshes the concerns expressed by some over recruitment.
 

Garts

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Im not concerned with our lack of recruitment, everyone was ready to slit their wrists after BK retired but Stewart stepped up. Im sure someone else will next season as well!!!
 

Kiwi Eagle

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Players player award: Jason Wells

Coaches 3, 2, 1, 3 Jason Wells
2 Jack Afamasaga
1 Chris Trembath
Very surprising, Sione was absolutely outstanding all game, provided massive go forward with every carry
 

DSM5

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Pity the Warriors went down to the Storm. Why-o-why didn't they take the two points on offer, then they would have been four points up. The thing is with the Warriors they always, repeat always, take the wrong option. Complete duds.
 

Nutzcraw

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Top write KE. One of the best i've read.

Sounds like afamasage had a good one.. geez, it'd be good to watch these PL games.
 

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